Monday, September 30, 2019

TTM Success - Al Pedrique

I have been spending my offseason from graphing by trying to go through my TTM box and sort it a lot better than it has been.  I also have been working to add some more subjects to my list, since I have sent to so many past players.  Still, there are guys in the box who have been there for a couple years, just waiting for their turn to get a letter and some cards from me.

I don't know how long I have had cards of Al Pedrique waiting for me to send out, but the ones I sent are pretty nice.  I really like the above 1987 Topps Glossy Rookies.  I don't think I have gotten any of these signed before, but I could have.
I also had his 1988 Fleer, 1989 Topps and a 2005 Topps that were returned signed.  He signed in black Sharpie, and the cards turned out really well.

Pedrique (b. 1960) played in the majors from 1987 to 1989 for the Mets, Pirates and Tigers.  He had 111 hits, 1 home run and a .247 batting average.

He also managed the Diamondbacks in 2004; to a record of 22-61 (.265%).

I mailed to Pedrique on July 8 and got the cards back on September 10, for a 64-day TAT.

Sunday, September 29, 2019

TTM Success - Rick Honeycutt

While this autograph request was out to Rick Honeycutt, I ended up getting an 87 Topps for my set.  This one finally came in, so I will take a look at the one I had, and see if this one looks any better.

I had sent to Dodgers Spring Training to try to get Honeycutt on my cards, and they finally did come back.  The above 1990 Topps turned out really well.  I didn't realize how off-centered my card was, but it still looks nice.
Here is the 87, along with a 1992.  Both look sharp.

Honeycutt (b. 1954) played in the majors from 1977 to 1997 for the Mariners, Rangers, Dodgers, A's, Yankees and Cardinals.  He had a career record of 109-143, with 1,038 strike outs and a 3.72 ERA.  He was an All Star in 1980 and 1983, and won the World Series with the A's in 1989.  He appeared on the 2003 Hall of Fame ballot, and received 0.4% of the vote.

I mailed to Honeycutt on February 5 and got the cards back on September 10, for a 217-day TAT.

TTM Success - Wilin Rosario

I saw that Wilin Rosario was signing TTM while he was with the Rochester Red Wings, so I found a few cards and sent them out.  A short time later, they all came back signed.  Normally, I would have had a lot of cards to choose from, but I typically give all of my Rosario stuff to my friend, Noah, so I was lucky to find these three cards.  The 2012 Bowman Platinum turned out really well.
I also had a 2012 Topps and 2015 Topps.  Rosario probably could use a new Sharpie, soon.  However, I am happy with what I was able to get.

Rosario (b. 1989) played in the majors from 2011 to 2015 for the Rockies.  He had 413 hits, 71 home runs and a .273 batting average.  I was surprised to see that he hasn't been in the majors since 2015.  I think injuries have really limited him. 

A look at his stats show that he didn't play at all between 2016 and 2018.  He played 105 games this year at AAA Rochester in the Twins system.  He had 124 hits, 24 home runs and a .300 average.  Maybe this is an indication that he is now healthy, and a team will give him a Spring Training invitation next season.

I mailed to Rosario on July 23 and got the cards back on September 10, for a 49-day TAT.

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Some 50/50s From Dylan

My friend, Dylan, lives in Connecticut and graphs the Connecticut Tigers.  This season, he took a few 50/50s for me and helped me get a couple cards out of my box.

I was especially happy he took this Bryant Packard and got it signed for me, since I only had the one card.  Packard formerly went to ECU, but I have never tried to graph there.  I have heard it is pretty easy, but I didn't try, and ended up sending this out after Packard was drafted by the Tigers.
Dylan also sent these three cards back.  I always enjoy getting the older stuff out of my boxes.  I've become a bit of a card hoarder, and it really helps to be able to move some of the older stuff.  One of these days, I'll do another show and unload some stuff.  In the meantime, I will reduce my boxes card by card as I get stuff signed.

Thanks for the 50/50s, Dylan!

TTM Success - Bert Marshall

 I got some more vintage hockey cards signed in this TTM success from Bert Marshall.  The cards came from my friend, Max, in a box I got off of him at the National for $10.00.  I'm really glad I got it, because otherwise, I wouldn't have had these cards, and I probably wouldn't have picked up singles on my own.  The above card is a 73-74 Topps.
This card is a 71-72 Topps, and it also shows off the uniform and logo of the now-defunct California Golden Seals.  The Seals were part of the NHL expansion in 1967, but never really performed all that well.  They ended up moving to Cleveland in 1976.  They competed as the Cleveland Barons until 1978, and then folded.

Marshall (b. 1943) played in the NHL from 1965 to 1979 for the Red Wings, Golden Seals, Rangers and Islanders.  He appeared in 392 games, scoring 8 goals and 87 assists.

I mailed to Marshall on August 22 and got the cards back on September 3, for a 12-day TAT.

Friday, September 27, 2019

Some Autos From Michael

My friend, Michael, sent me a package recently that had a good many autos from this season.  I really appreciated the package, and there was some really good stuff inside.

I missed seeing Jackson Kowar this season, as he wasn't with Wilmington for very long.  So, I was really glad Michael sent me this Pro Debut.
Chris Lee is no longer in the Orioles system.  Last I saw was that he was pitching for the Saint Paul Saints; this was when I was at the National.  I don't think Jonathan Villar will be with the Orioles next season, as he is having a great year and has built up some trade value.  He sure has been fun to watch.

Thanks for the cards, Michael!  I really appreciate it.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Some Autos From Instagram

I got a message in my Instagram DM from a kid in Indiana who was looking for a 2018 Bowman Bryan Mata auto.  I had an extra one from graphing, so I offered it to him.

He wanted to trade for the card, so I took these two cards that he offered in return.

I really love this 2017 Stadium Club Shawn O'Malley.  I wanted to be able to add something like this to my autograph album, and now I can.
He also threw in this 2018 Bowman Jawuan Harris auto.  This is a player who I probably wouldn't have been able to get on a card, since I don't see any of San Diego's minor league teams.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

TTM Success - CD Pelham

It took a while, but I got my cards back TTM from former Wood Ducks pitcher, CD Pelham.  I had heard he was singing via Spring Training by my friend, Gerard, so I sent the cards pretty early on, but they never came back.  In April, I saw CD in Nashville, and even he had no idea where they were.  It didn't matter much to me, I was more happy that he remembered Chris and I when we were in Nashville, and even gave us tickets to one of the games.
Pelham (b. 1995) made it to the Rangers last season, where he played in 10 games.  He had a 7.04 ERA and 7 strike outs.

This season, CD went 1-4 with a 11.97 ERA and 37 strike outs between Nashville (AAA) and Frisco (AA).  It really was a tough year for him.

CD was a 33rd round pick in the 2015 MLB Amateur Draft out of SPartanburg Methodist College, in Spartanburg, SC.  I sure have spent plenty of time in Spartanburg, myself, between Wofford College Football games, Tommy Mauney's chassis shop and Gene Fulton's engine shop.

I mailed to Pelham on February 5 via Rangers Spring Training and got the cards back on August 30, for a 206-day TAT.  In my note, I reminded CD one more time that Jordan is better than Lebron.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Norfolk 50/50s From Connor

I missed out on a few players when I was in Norfolk last month.  So, while I was there, I handed off the cards I needed to my friend, Connor.  He was able to get a few of the guys that I needed, and he also threw in an extra auto, the above Anthony Santander.
I am lucky that Connor was able to get done what he did, because the guys I needed have both been DFAed by the Orioles since then.  Tom Eschelman didn't perform all that well in his time with the Orioles.  I had picked up the two cards on the left while I was at the National.  The Contenders on the right was a card I had for a long time in my box.
I also had these Ty Blachs that I wanted to get done, and he performed pretty poorly as well.  He was also DFAed by the Orioles, and I highly doubt he will be back.  I can't remember if these guys were released, because I went out of town soon after, but I'm pretty sure both have been.

Regardless, I feel bad for these guys.  They got a shot at the majors, and the performances really didn't pan out.  I don't know if they (Blach and Eschelman) will receive other shots, but hey, they mad it to the majors.  That is so much more than a lot of people can say.

Anyway, I am glad Connor hooked me up with these autos.  They're going into my album, and I feel like they all turned out really well.

Set Complete - 2019 Topps

I had the cards since June, but I just couldn't find the time to sort them.  Last night, a kid on Instagram asked me if I could help him finish his 2019 Topps Series 2 set, so I sat down, turned the Orioles game on, and I finally got around to sorting my cards.

I picked the right game to put on in the background, as it went 15 innings.  I only made it to the 12th, since I was really tired.

Still, though, I am glad I finally have the cards sorted, and the set is complete.  I actually filled two sets, including the SP Vlad Guerrero, Jr. card.  The second set is for sale.

Monday, September 23, 2019

Some 50/50s From Zach S.

I've known this kid, Zach S., on Instagram for some time now.  Probably at least 2 years.  Our initial meeting did not go well; he tried to scam me out of some cards.  After a while, and some apologies, we got to chatting again, and reservedly, I sent him a handful of cards for him to try a 50/50 since he saw the Fort Wayne Tincaps, and also since he was taking a trip to Florida and would see Fort Myers.

Zach thanked me for trusting him with my cards, and he came through.  He got me autos of Blaze Alexander, Alek Thomas, Jackson Goddard, Levi Kelly and Royce Lewis.
All of the cards turned out well, and I feel like Zach did a good job.  I think I will send him a few more 50/50s to do next year, since he has earned back my trust.
He tried really hard with Fort Myers, but since he wasn't all that experienced with the park, he didn't do too well.  He also ended up not seeing nearly as many games as he thought, so this was the only Royce Lewis that he was able to get done.

Thanks for getting my cards signed, Zach.  We will definitely do some more next season.

TTM Success - Mickey Tettleton

Another private signing came up on SCN; this one of former Oriole, Mickey Tettleton.  I had bought his 87 Topps already, so I went with a 1991 Crown Orioles, and the 1994 Leaf Medalists for the cards I would send.
I noticed after I paid for the signing and sent my cards that I missed sending the A's Leaders card from the 87 set.  I also missed it when I sent to Carney Lansford.  I really screwed up on that one.  I'll have to hope that those two do signings again, and maybe I can finish that card.

I was happy with this 94 medalists card though.  All I need now is to catch Chris Hoiles.  I hope he is at Fan Fest, soon.

Tettleton (b. 1960) played in the majors from 1984 to 1997 for the A's, Orioles, Tigers and Rangers.  He had 1,132 hits, 245 home runs and a .241 batting average.  He was an All Star in 1989 and 1994 and a Silver Slugger Award winner in 1989, 1991 and 1992.

I mailed to the signing on July 24 and got the cards back on August 30, for a 37-day TAT.  I paid a fee of $15/card.

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Ebay Pickup For The 87 Set - Frank Wills

When I was buying my Tom Waddell auto, I also saw this Frank Wills auto.  I knew he had passed, as well, so I went ahead and picked it up.  I got a good deal on it, and can cross it off of my list.

Wills (b. 1958 - d. 2012) played in the majors from 1983 to 1991 for the Royals, Mariners, Indians and Blue Jays.  He had a record of 22-26 with 281 strike outs and a 5.06 ERA.

Wills was found dead in his apartment in Louisiana.  No cause of death was given, but according to the newspaper report about his death, he had complained a week earlier about not feeling well.  He reported pain in his arm and having a fever.

Ebay Pickup For The 87 Set - Tom Waddell

I recently saw on a Facebook group that I'm in that Tom Waddell had passed away.  I knew he was in the 87 set, since I had seen his cards recently when I was looking for some other guys for a private signing.  So, I jumped over to Ebay to see if he had any signed cards out there, and I was lucky enough to find one at a good price.  I always hate it when folks dump autos of guys when they pass in order to cash in a bit.  I felt like this one was reasonably priced, and the seller probably wasn't aware of Waddell's passing.

The comments on the post on Facebook indicate that Waddell was a great guy.  It is a shame that I wasn't able to write him while he was alive.  Life is really short.  He suffered a heart attack just days shy of his 61st birthday.

Waddell (b. 9/17/58 - d. 9/14/19) passed away on my birthday, actually.  He was born in the UK, which, according to, he is one of 49 players to hail from the UK.  He played in the majors in 1984, 1985 and 1987, all for the Indians.  He had a record of 15-11 with 118 strike outs and a 4.30 ERA.

Waddell was a promising pitcher in college, whose career was derailed due to arm injuries.  By 1979, he was a clothing salesman in New York, and was playing for a semi-pro softball team.  He was informed of a tryout with the Braves, and impressed their scout enough that he was signed.  The scout?  Hank Aaron.

Waddell's journey to the majors would make for an interesting movie.

Saturday, September 21, 2019

TTM Success - Bob Ojeda

I added this Bob Ojeda auto for my 87 set through a private signing on SCN.  I have a bunch more coming, which is nice.  The set is coming along a lot better than I ever thought it would, but I have some tough ones to get still.

Ojeda (b. 1957) played in the majors from 1980 to 1994 for the Red Sox, Mets, Dodgers, Indians and Yankees.  He had a career record of 115-98 with 1,128 strike outs and a 3.65 ERA.  He finished 4th in the 1986 NL Cy Young Award race, and 21st in the MVP voting that season.  He won the World Series with the Mets in 1986. 

During Spring Training in 1993, Ojeda joined fellow Indians pitchers Tim Crews and Steve Olin on a boat ride near Crews's Florida home.  It was near dark, and Crews was legally drunk, when the boat struck a pier, killing Olin and Crews.  Ojeda received lacerations on his head, but survived the crash.  He spent most of the 1993 season recuperating from the accident.

I mailed to the private signing on July 19 and got the card back on August 29, for a 41-day TAT.  I paid a fee of $39.00.

Friday, September 20, 2019

TTM Success - Roy Smalley

Another private signing allowed me to add another autograph to my 1987 set.  This one was for Roy Smalley.  He doesn't sign a whole lot, from what I have been able to tell, so I was glad I took advantage of the signing.
I also got this 1976 Topps Father & Son card signed during the signing.  I had a bunch of these in my box, so I wanted to get one in the album.

Smalley (b. 1952) played in the majors from 1975 to 1987 for the Rangers, Twins, Yankees and White Sox.  He had 1,454 hits, 163 home runs and a .257 batting average.  His best finish in the MVP voting was 16th in 1979.  That season, he was an All Star, as well.  Smalley won the World Series with the Twins in 1987.

I mailed to the signing on March 14 and got the cards back on August 28, for a 167-day TAT.  I paid a fee of $30.00.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Lyon Richardson Consignment Autos From Parker

A kid named Parker saw me bust 2019 Bowman on my Instagram livestream and offered to get my Lyon Richardson cards signed.  I sent him the base card, which was the only one I had at the time, then I followed up with this Bowman Mojo refractor that I found later on in a Target Mega box.
The autos came out great, but since I only had one Richardson at a time, Parker agreed to take them as a consignment instead of a 50/50.  So, I sent him a couple signed 2018 Heritage Minors autos in exchange for him getting me these two cards.

A 50/50 would have meant that I send Parker 2 Richardsons, and he gets them signed, keeps one and sends the other back to me... you split 50/50.

A consignment works by either trading something or paying straight up for an auto.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

TTM Success - Raisel Iglesias

I found these two cards at the National, and knew I would be able to get them signed TTM, so I picked them up.  Raisel Iglesias has been signing all season, so I knew these two cards would be good pickups out of a quarter box.
Both of them turned out great, and were prepped with baby powder before I mailed.

Iglesias (b. 1990) has played for the Reds since 2015.  He has a record of 14-28 with a 3.16 ERA and 443 strike outs.  He also has 96 saves.

I mailed to Iglesias via the Reds on August 14 and got the cards back on August 26, for a 12-day TAT.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

TTM Success - Paul Wilson

I had to wait a long, long time, but I was able to finally add a 1996 Pinnacle Aficionado to my autograph album.  This is one of my all-time favorite sets, and appears to be pretty difficult to find.  I had this card since probably 1996, then thought it might be lost forever.
I finally received it, and these cards back signed from Paul Wilson, after waiting a couple years.  The cards I sent were all really cool, and he signed them with a red Sharpie.

Wilson (b. 1973) played in the majors in 1996 and from 2000 to 2005 for the Mets, Devil Rays and Reds.  He had a career record of 40-58 with 619 strike outs and a 4.86 ERA.  He was the #1 overall pick in the 1994 June Amateur Draft by the Mets out of Florida State University.

I mailed to Wilson on May 6, 2016 and got the cards back on August 24, 2019, for a 1,205-day TAT.

Monday, September 16, 2019

A Few More Autos From Gerard

My friend, Gerard, took on a bunch more 50/50s for me this season, and I finally have gotten around to posting two of the batches that were sitting here on my desk.

I had found this 2018 Bowman Chrome blue refractor of Josh Ockimey at the National this year (I think), and it turned out really well when it was signed.
I also was surprised that I had missed this Chaf De La Guerra card from the 2015 NY-Penn League All Star game.  I have had those cards for a couple seasons, now, and have hit a wall on getting any of the remaining ones signed.  I was glad to take this one out of the box, though, and now it will be put away.
Here are some other cards that Gerard was able to take care of for me.  All of them are ones that I had for quite a while, so it is always nice to see them come back signed.
I know I have had these Jeff Niemann cards for a long time, and I was beginning to think this was a player who I wouldn't be adding any time soon.  I had looked him up fairly recently to see if he signed TTM, and he did not.  It doesn't matter, now, because these are done.
Finally, Gerard helped knock off a card from my 1987 set.  I was hoping to get Jose Guzman sooner, but it never worked out.  I have him now, and am crossing him off of the list.

Thanks for the cards, Gerard!

Sunday, September 15, 2019

TTM Success - Ben Petrick

The TTM I sent ended up being a bunch of cards, but Ben Petrick signed them all, and I added some different stuff to my autograph album.

This 2000 Skybox turned out to be a pretty sharp card, and I liked how it looked.  I'm pretty sure it was something I found at my LCS a while back, and it finally came in signed.
Here are three different Bowmans from a long time ago, and a 2000 Topps Stadium Club.  The Bowmans are 1996, 2000 and 2001.  The 1996 (bottom left) was one of the cards I got out of a box while visiting Andrew a couple years ago.
Finally, some Fleer offerings, a 2001 Fleer Futures and a 2000 Fleer Tradition.  These are some pretty cool cards, as Fleer had some cool designs in the early 2000s.  Their problem was that they flooded the market with products and ran themselves out of business.

Petrick (b. 1977) played in the majors from 1999 to 2003 for the Rockies and Tigers.  He had 172 hits, 27 home runs and a .257 batting average.

I mailed to Petrick on March 25 and got the cards back on August 24, for a 152-day TAT.

Last Graphing Trip of 2019 - Knights at Tides

The weekend of Labor Day, Chris and I went to Norfolk to catch a Tides game.  It was the Saturday game, and with it being so short notice, I feel like we still did pretty well in getting some stuff signed.

We had gotten to the field about an hour or so before the gates opened, so he and I walked around a bit so I could get my steps in.  While we were walking, one of the Tides players walked out into the parking lot.  He was on his phone when he walked out, but I got a good look at him.  I consulted the Tides roster and had a decent idea who it might have been, but Chris, having no fear, asked him when he came walking back, who he was.  It was David Hess.  I was glad, because I actually had a card of Hess, so he stopped and signed for me.  He was really nice, and thanked us for coming to the game.
We didn't wait on the Tides side pregame, so we had to try to get some of them outside after the game.  I met a fellow instagrammer, Connor, whom I had done a few 50/50s with.  It was really nice chatting with him, and graphing.
I could have waited outside on the Knights side, but I figured I would recognize the Tides guys a little better, and I knew that a lot of them that I had cards of might not be with the Orioles when Fan Fest comes around.  This was an opportunity to clear out some space in my box.
We were pretty excited to get Ryan Mountcastle again.  I hadn't seen him since he was with Frederick, and his offense has blown up pretty well this season.  He will likely be at Fan Fest in January, but I have one specific card I can take to that when it comes time for it.
We were able to add to these two trio cards, by having them signed by Austin Wynns and Austin Hays.  I can probably get Mullins at Fan Fest, and same with Renato Nunez (if he isn't traded in the offseason).
I wasn't as lucky when I tried to get the Knights guys.  The same woman who ran Chris and I off last season was back, but she wasn;t near as rude.  Still, I'm pretty sure I saw her talking with one of the ushers, who eventually ran us off.  The usher had tried right at the start, but another woman in the area told her "They aren't bothering anyone and have been very respectful, so they can stay, I don't mind."  I wish the other woman had been so courteous.

Anyway, Chris and I did our best to stay out of folks' way, and we were able to add these two cards to the album.  I was really disappointed that I left a Panini Diamons Kings card of Thaygo Viera on my desk, as he walked right by us, and stopped to say hello.

Since the Wood Ducks lost in the first round of the Carolina League playoffs, this trip turned out to be our last graphing trip of the season.

Beginning with the Wood Ducks hot stove event in January; encompassing that event, Orioles Fan Fest and the Johnny Bench signing, as well as 63 different minor and major league games, Chris and I got 2,027 autographs this year.  We went to 51 Wood Ducks home games this year.  We also went to home games for the Fayetteville Woodpeckers (their first ever home game), Carolina Mudcats, Augusta Greenjackets, Nashville Sounds, Louisville Bats, West Virginia Power, Bowie Baysox, Hickory Crawdads, Greensboro Grasshoppers, High Point Rockers, Burlington Royals and Norfolk Tides.  We also went to MLB games in Baltimore and St. Louis.  I could have added Columbia to the list, but we were rained out.    I was 28 autographs short of my total from last year, but had I counted the cards I got signed at the National, I would have probably exceeded that total.  Not that it really matters.

All of that being said, it is safe to say that I am tired, and am glad to be gearing up for the offseason.  I am excited about 2020, though, and Chris and I will try to add some more stadiums to my map (which has finally been updated).

Thanks to everyone who I graphed with this summer: Jackson, Dugan, Connor, Adam, Josh, Kaleb, Braden, Tanner, Ben, Billy, John, Erika, Jesse, Keegan, Andrew, Michael, and anyone else I may have forgotten to mention.  I know he won't read this, but I also want to thank my travel partner, and the best graphing helper, Chris.  I know this isn't really your thing, but you are a good sport with it, and help a lot more than you know.  I am just glad that I have a simple enough hobby that I can take my son along and spend some time with him.  Our trips last year to Texas, and this year to Illinois/Kentucky, etc were a lot of fun.  Now, go wash that Augusta shirt!